January 12, 2010
The Landlords right to distrain against their tenant for rent arrears has been abolished. It has been replaced by a new procedure although this has not yet come into action yet. The procedure will come under the banner of Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and is called Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery “CRAR”. This broadly follows similar rules to Distress for Rent but there are a few differences as follows
1/ CRAR can only be used for the collection of Rent not electric, Insurance or Service charges.
2/ Certificated Bailiffs will be Certificated in a similar manner to the present procedure but will be known as “Certificated Enforcement Officers”
3/ Prior to the Commencement of CRAR a Notice of Enforcement must be served on the debtor by the Enforcement Officer
4/ CRAR can only be used if the balance is above a minimum level
5/ Only a Certificated Enforcement Officer can take control of goods and even then only goods belonging to the debtor
6/ The Certificated Enforcement Officer may not take control of goods which exceed the value of the debt plus costs
7/ New rules will be brought in with regard to fees and the way that goods are dealt with and sold
8/ Statutory damages will be allowed to be claimed if the debtor moves goods that have been seized or if the Certificated Enforcement Officer breaches any rules.
9/ An upfront fee (yet to be determined) may have to be paid to the Certificated Enforcement Officer before the debtor is visited
National Enforcement have been delivierng a series of training seminars to clients and other organisations about these new laws and the effects upon the collection and recovery process.
We have provided courses for Local Authorities arouind the country. We have also done seminars for surveyors and solcitors in Leeds, Newcastle, Darlington and for Northumbria University.
We will provide more details in a future article